Back to the complete issue
Wednesday, 21 March 2018

El Sisi’s “President and People 2018” interview reigns supreme on the airwaves

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s interview with director Sandra Nashaat — titled “President and People 2018” — consumed the talking heads last night. Without exception, the hosts commended the format of the interview, which we cover in the detail in the Speed Round, and El Sisi’s demeanor. They offered little in the way of analysis.

Before we dive into that, the talking heads took note of the biggest business story of the day: The Administrative Court’s order to suspend Uber and Careem’s licenses. Amr Adib maxed-out his vocal cords in expressing his frustration at the Administrative Court’s ruling yesterday to suspend Uber and Careem’s licenses. The host listed all the drawbacks of the court ruling and urged the government to find a way to intervene (watch, runtime: 7:15). We gently urge Adib to take a look at the Ride-hailing Apps Act, which is expected to pass the House soon-ish. We have more in depth coverage of the issue in the Speed Round.

Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) head Atef Yacoub phoned into Yahduth fi Masr to wag his finger at iron and steel manufacturers for raising the prices of their products, saying that the move is detrimental to the state as it is undertaking infrastructure projects. The CPA had warned manufacturers against price hikes, and referred them to the Egyptian Competition Authority when they did not heed warnings, according to Yacoub (watch, runtime: 4:06). Head of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce’s Building Materials Division Ahmed El Zeini commended Yacoub’s decision, saying the price increases are “unjustified” (watch, runtime: 3:16).

With all the grandstanding and back slapping, no one appeared to mention the fact that the Egyptian Competition Authority has denied it is probing the steel sector and noted that only it has the jurisdiction to conduct such an investigation (we have more in the Speed Round). Nice try though, Smiley Face.

The interview with El Sisi was more “cinematic” than journalistic, said Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi as she aired several snippets of the president’s sit-down (watch, runtime: 1:00:00). Kol Youm’s Amr Adib echoed his better half, and pointed out that the format of the interview did not leave space for any follow-up questions (watch, runtime: 3:18). Lamees also took note of a portion of the interview in which El Sisi watched a pop vox compilation from Egyptians, which the host hailed as a “true reflection” of the people’s voice (watch, runtime: 7:22).

Lamees noted that some of the citizens interviewed seemed fearful of speaking their mind in front of a camera (watch, runtime: 3:21), while Adib blamed the issue on a longstanding culture of being scared of criticizing authorities. Both hosts pointed out the generational gap among interviewees’ points of view and that the younger subjects were much more critical (watch, runtime: 1:15).

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.